Albuquerque man performs faucets for neighbors on Memorial Day

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – A man used to honoring veterans at Memorial Day celebrations in front of the crowds has found a more intimate way to greet those who have lost their lives. “I can get very emotional if I let it,” said Steve Sobolik. “When I play it, when I think about the price these men and women paid, I’ll never get through it.”

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Sobolik plays taps for the family. “My father and two uncles served in the army,” said Sobolik. “My wife’s brother and father served in the Navy.”

He’s used to playing in front of hundreds. “I play in the Albuquerque Concert Band,” said Sobolik. “We’ve been playing observations at the Louisiana and Gibson memorial for several years.”

He’s been playing right next to him for the past two years. “This started last year when we couldn’t have normal observances during the pandemic,” Sobolik said. “I did it last year and wanted to do it again this year.”

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Neighbors gathered who, due to the weather, were unable to make their usual trip to Santa Fe National Cemetery. “I don’t miss when I can possibly help go to Santa Fe,” said neighbor Mariam Ciepiela. “My brother and my father are buried there. I’ve been going there for over 40 years. Sometimes you can’t do it. It’s nice to be able to hear Taps. ”

“Everyone who has come before us and everyone who is willing to risk their life … I am not on that pile,” added neighbor Margaret Smith. “Here I can at least stand in the rain.”

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Sobolik continues to play in honor of those who lost their lives in service. “The best we can do is remember them and their victims and live a life worthy of that sacrifice,” said Sobolik.

Sobolik said the Albuquerque Concert Band would resume rehearsals next week after 15 months. He’s hoping to perform with the band again on Memorial Day next year.

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